Saturday, April 01, 2006

Artificial Lightning In 1984?

The following post includes my partial dissection of an excellent article written by Richard M. Roberds Ph.D. Introducing the Particle-Beam Weapon. Air University Review (July-August 1984).

Article Link: http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil
Excerpts appear in blue, and my mad ramblings in red:

The particle beam itself is analogous to a natural phenomenon with which we are all familiar--the lightning bolt. The analogy is so close that particle-beam pulses are referred to as "bolts."

Particle beams are artificially produced by particle beam generators, while lightning is naturally discharged from clouds. And while there can be differences between the two artificial lightning could be produced so as to resemble natural lightning.



While the electric field in lightning that accelerates the electrons is typically 500,000 volts per meter, these electron velocities are still less than that desired in a particle-beam weapon.

Electron velocities may not have matched the Air Force's classified ABM specifications in 1984, but that fact alone would not have implied that particle-beam weapons didn't already exist prior to 1984, nor does it suggest that significant advances haven't been achieved in this weaponry over the last two decades.


Neither the proton nor the electron show any conclusive advantage over the other in their use as the appropriate "ammunition" of a PBW. The determining factor of whether to use electrons or protons so far has been simply the specific particle
accelerator concept planned for use in a beam weapon. Some accelerating schemes call for the acceleration of electrons, while others use protons.

The ability to generate, and discharge negatively charged electrons, and/or positively charged protons into a thunderstorm might have been seen as an opportunity to manipulate some of the basic properties, and processes of thunderstorms.

The possibility of alterting the electrostatic properties of clouds raises many questions.

Can the path, or intensity of thunderstorms be altered through the technical manipulation of a cloud's natural electrostatic charge?

How would the application of multiple artificial lightning strikes of varying intensity, and polarity, effect a thunderstorm?

Could the height, and shape ot the ionosphere be altered by changing the polarity of clouds with artificial lightning? Could the path of the jet-stream be altered through the covert use of particle-beam weapons during thunderstorms?

Developing the ability to covertly discharge artficial lightning within thunderstorms would raise many questions, and open many avenues for research. Decades of covert research related to a weather modification program would significantly, but covertly advance the fields of high energy physics, and meteorology.


The development of a power supply and particle accelerator with sufficient power and appropriately shaped pulses for endoatmospheric weapons depends on very "high-risk" technology and is likely years away.

Dependence upon "high-risk" 1984- technology may have been a factor in deciding whether particle-beam weapons would play a role in a "Star Wars" ABM system, but it would not have precluded either the development, and covert use of particle-beam weapons in other roles.

Particle-beam weapons may have been seen as a possible replacement for air-to-air missiles decades prior to being cast in the loftier role as an Anti Ballistic Missile Weapon (which the author's "Star Wars" article centers upon).




A tertiary effect from the beam would be the generation of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) by the electric current pulse of the beam. This EMP would be very disruptive to any electronic components of a target.

The use of particle-beam generators as EMF weapons opens up yet another possible role for such weapons. A covert weather modification program employing artificial lightning generators would represent an enormous opportunity to test in a real world setting EMF weapons. Only under the cover of thunderstorms would it be possible to covertly develop, and actually deploy EMF weapons in a real world setting.

Decades of covert research would progress from a startng point of basic knowledge into a high level of expertise in this important area of weaponry - all without notice by the general public.




Another advantage of a particle beam over the high-energy laser in an endoatmospheric application would be an all-weather capability. While a laser can be thwarted completely by such weather effects as clouds, fog, and rain, these atmospheric phenomena would have little effect on the penetrating power of a particle-beam weapon.

Lightning has no trouble reaching the ground even in the worst of storms. This provides further justification towards its development.

An "all weather" usage classification for any weapon is seen a significant advantage for that weapon. While particle-beam weapons can be covertly developed, and used during thunderstorms one day in a not too distant future the world may see the first combat under a clear blue sky in which bolts of lightning from a high flying aircraft shoot down an incoming nuclear tipped missile. .




The successful development of a PBW depends on the ability of the beam to propagate directly and accurately to the target. As we ponder its similarity to lightning, we might consider the jagged, irregular path of a lightning bolt as it darts unpredictably through the sky. Such indeterminacy would never do for the particle beam of a weapon, which must have an extremely precise path of propagation as it traverses the kilometers to the enemy vehicle. This aspect, in fact, may be the Achilles' heel of the endoatmospheric weapon.

Accuracy wouldn't be as great of a stumbling block to such a weapon's deployment if the weapon were covertly developed within thunderstorms. If a particle beam strike misses its target then mulitple attempts to strike the target can be made without invoking attention - or consequence.

In the minds of the masses lightning is a random act of nature, or God, and thus lightning isn't questioned.

As an EMF weapon beam accuracy would not be as vital since a direct hit of a partilce-beam upon the target isn't necessary in order to create a disabling Electro Magnetic Pulse.


Accuracy of the particle-beam path would not be as great of a concern at shorter ranges either.

Using artificial lightning to shoot down another aircraft from ten miles away may present a challenge beyond current technical means (and this might not be a problem), yet disabling a stationary ground-based power grid from ten thousand feet would seemingly demand considerably less accuracy.


Finally, if the goal in using particle-beam weapons is to covertly produce sonic booms (i.e., thunder) to trigger precipitation within thunderstorms the zagged path of a particle beam would not be a concern.

Simply put, all ducks do not have to be in a row before one can begin shooting at ducks - that's why its called it R & D.




The propagation of a charged-particle beam through the atmosphere is, in fact, the pacing issue for the endoatmospheric weapon. It has been theoretically calculated that specific threshold values of the beam parameters (beam current, particle energy, beam pulse length, etc.) are required for a beam to propagate through air with reliability. While the values of these parameters are classified, no particle-beam accelerator is currently capable of creating a beam with the required parameters.

The parameters, of which the author refers, were classified in 1984, and would still be today, and so we can not know just how powerful particle-beams must be in order to meet the Air Force's established criteria. Despite this limitation the actual physics behind the technology isn't classified, and allows us to speculate in a very accurate way about what type of beam would be needed for a specific military application.

Failure of a particle-beam weapon to meeting the Air Force's criterion established for an Anti Ballistic Missile Defense system would not have precluded the development, and deployment of a less powerful, less accurate, but portable particle-beam weapon.



Two crucially important experimental programs are exploring the phenomena of atmospheric beam propagation. The first program, underway at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, involves experiments with an accelerator called the Advanced Test Accelerator (ATA), the construction of which was completed in the fall of 1982. The second program, a joint Air Force/Sandia National Laboratories program, similarly is aimed at investigating beam propagation through the use of a radial-pulse-line accelerator (RADLAC). Continuation of the U.S. program to explore the development of an endoatmospheric weapon will depend on a positive prognosis from these two experimental studies of atmospheric beam propagation.

Note that this article was written during the height of the Cold War when well funded "big science" programs such as those listed above acted as entry ways for researchers into the defense sector. Researchers who were then cherry picked by the defense industry for introduction into various covert research programs within the sprawling defense, and espionage community.

While the "Star Wars" program of the Reagan era was introduced as a Cold War big-science big-money program this fact should not subvert one's understanding of any covert particle-beam weapon's program.

Huge mile long particle-beam generators may have captured the public's attention during the discussion of "Star Wars", but it should not be allowed to act as disinformation about the technical capability possessed even then for the development of smaller particle-beam weapons.



In examining the Air Force charged-particle-beam technology program, we find that its main thrust is the exploration of nonconventional acceleration techniques (neither rf nor induction linacs), with two main purposes in mind. The first is to develop a means of producing a particle beam with parameters closely resembling those that would be required for successful propagation through the atmosphere, so that beam propagation can be studied in depth and propagation theory refined. To date, a RADLAC I accelerator that has been developed has produced a 10-MeV beam of electrons with a 30,000-ampere current.5 A more powerful RADLAC II is under construction.

The second purpose is to develop an accelerator with higher accelerating fields that would permit the building of a shorter device. The nominal accelerating gradient in conventional accelerators is about 5 to 10 MeV per meter of accelerator length. Thus, to produce a 1-GeV beam, a linear accelerator would need to be 100 to 500 meters in length--far too long and cumbersome, particularly if the device were to be carried aboard an aircraft. The Air Force hopes to build a device eventually that will generate a very powerful particle beam with an accelerator of more reasonable length.

Someone, somewhere, with high credibility must have convinced the Airforce that it would be possible to develop a Particle-Beam-Weapon small enough to install onboard an aircraft, and I suspect this took place decades earlier than this article seems to suggest.

Perhaps the particle-beams were not as powerful, destructive, or accurate as the Air Force desired, but it appears that the Air Force was already convinced that the technology was worth the investment.



Once electrical energy is generated for the weapon, it will likely have to be stored in some fashion. A typical storage method involves charging a series of large capacitors (often called a capacitor bank). Other more exotic methods are possible, e.g., spinning a huge mechanical flywheel or simply storing the energy in the form of a high-energy explosive that is released in a contained explosion. Actually, there are numerous schemes for storing and releasing the required energy; their advantages and disadvantages depend on their particular application (i.e., the type of accelerator that is used and whether the weapon is endo- or exoatmospheric).

The flywheel mentioned above sounds primitive, but it does recognize the range of possible means towards generating, and storing the energy needed to drive a particle accelerator. I propose that if the tremendous torque of a jet engine is mechanically transmitted into a dynamo, and that dynamo feeds a capacitor bank then the charge from such an arrangement could adequately power a particle accelerator.




The PBW offers a possibility for defending effectively against a launched ICBM, and even a glimmer of hope toward this end is worthy of pursuit. Should the United States terminate its exploration of particle-beam technology, we would be opening the door for the Soviets to proceed at their own pace toward building such a weapon. We can ill afford technological surprise in an area as crucial as beam weapons.

Note that the author believed, more than twenty years ago, thata significant opportunity existed for the covert development of such a weapon = albeit by the Soviet Union.

The author's concern implies that he felt it was possible to be surprised by a covert Soviet advance in particle-beam weaponry. This concern suggest at the very least the possibility of covertly making great leaps in particle-beam weapon technology over a short periods of time.


About the Richard M. Roberds as of 1984:

Richard M. Roberds (B.A., M.S., University of Kansas; Ph.D., Air Force Institute of Technology) is Associate Professor and Head of the Engineering Technology Department at Clemson University. He is a retired Air Force colonel and was the first technical program manager of the Air Force particle-beam technology program, serving in that capacity from September 1975 until July 1977 at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. Colonel Roberds is a Distinguished Graduate of Air Command and Staff College and a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Triggered Lightning, Triggers Thunder, Triggers Rain

Triggered Lightning - Triggers Thunder - Triggers Rain
Does Lightning Make It Rain?


In past articles I've introduced the subject of "cloud tipping". Clouds which are made up of hundreds, and thousands of tons of water, dust, and other particulates have saturation points at which precipitation must occur.

I've stated that each cloud should be viewed as a four dimensional mountain of statistical probabilities of precipitation. It should be possible to develop methods of scanning clouds to locate these rain tipping points within clouds.

I've also reviewed "precipatory sheeting effects" in which precipitation triggers condensation, and further precipitation in contiguous areas within clouds.

Locating a cloud's tipping points, and triggering precipitation at one or more of these points, would spread precipitation throughout an entire cloud.

In previous post in this series on weather modification I have asked, "Does Thunder Make It Rain?".

I've graphically illustrated how thunder (sonic booms), passing through clouds could condense water vapor into rain droplets - rain droplets which would then fall to the ground as rain.

If thunder triggers precipitation within clouds then lightning must play an important role in precipitation - a role that remains unexamined.


The Never Ending Mystery Of Lightning
Magic Spark In A Scientific Age.

In nearly every main stream media article written over the last thirty years, in which lightning is the subject, a mysterious dog & pony show somehow creeps into center ring.

Lightning is reviewed in terms of its velocity, voltage, frequency, and other properties, but somehow despite decades of study the nature of it's origin remains shrouded in mystery.

The mantra of "the mysterious nature of lightning" which has been repeated by science writers to the general public over the last half century has crowded out what could have been a more revealing, and demanding discussion of this phenomena.

Lightning, we are told, possesses a mysterious inherent complexity currently beyond human understanding. Yet the gods of water, dust, wind, and sky continue to conspire, and produce lightning - as if it were child's play.


What is simple for clouds to produce is too complex for people to understand.

Once the shroud of mystery surrounding the nature of lightning is lifted, this important phenomena can then be discussed in practical terms. One day in the not too distant future remotely piloted vehicles may take to the skies above thunderstorms. These aircraft may be equipped with technology capable of generating artificial lightning, or triggering natural lightning with the goal of shaping rainfall patterns on the ground below.

In that distant age humankind may see weather as the result of decision, and policy, instead of as random natural acts, or acts of god.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Lost Head - Will Pay

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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Victim - Wabash Ave. Headless Giant

O.K., so this is stupid, but I just had to post this photograph. I'll say how much this looks like a giant which has lost his head, and is fortunate enough to have a VISA credit card to pay for a new one, or at least to get the old one back. The giant's right hand seems to be imploring, or reaching out for his head, while the left hand grasp, and offers his credit card.

The head is now firmly back atop the Lauterbach "Paul Bunyon".

As I write this just past twelve midnight on the morning of March 31st, 2006 I hear the winds howling outside. I checked earlier, and the storm door blew back - the winds are strong.

Part of me is a bit nervous about trusting that Jerome won't get hit with another tornado, just because they touchdown so rarely. I keep wondering if the area isn't cursed, and that we are in for round two.

I suspect because of global warming that storms will generally become more intense, and occur more often. Just as we have seen major hurricanes strike the gulf coastal region one after another, I suspect that we are now living in a new era - one of evil storms for the Midwest.

Well at least the closest trees to our house have already been brought down.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue III

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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado - Wabash Ave. Walk-In Humidor

The sheer force involved in breaking off two power poles, most likely simulaneously, and throwing them across a parking lot is impressive. The photograph above was taken in the parking lot of the Walk-In Humidor located on Wabash Avenue in Jerome, Illinois. Photograph was taken on the morning of March 13th, 2006. A half mile wide F2 tornado tracked though Jerome, and Springfield, Illinois. A second F2 tornado followed within minutes striking Springfield's south-east side. Amazingly, despite widespread damage to the city no one was killed.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado - Wabash - Ace Hardware Command Post

Ace Hardware's parking lot off Wabash Avenue in Jerome, Illinois became a disaster response command post for local authorities. A RV sized response headquarters was located there on the night of the storm, and remained there for several days. Illinois State Police, Springfield Police, Jerome Police, Sangamon County Sheriff's Deputies, and Leland Grove Police worked together in maintaining law & order, and traffic control.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado - Wabash - Arnold Monument I

Arnold Monument specializes in creating grave monuments. It's roof was damaged by the tornado which struck Jerome, Illinois. I asked an employee if any of the monument stones were damaged, and was told that some of the markers had been knocked over, but were undamaged.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado - Wabash - Arnold Monument II

This look inside Arnold Monument shows the effect of an F2 tornado upon wooden structures. The roof is damaged, and all the plate glass windows are destroyed. Employees were working to bring out, and organize the stones along the outside wall of the building.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado - Wabash - The Barrel Head

Much has been said about the loss of the Barrel Head's roof. I visited the location twice on the morning after an F2 tornado struck Jerome, Illinois. The Village of Jerome is a suburb of Springfield, Illinois. When I returned later that morning of March 13th, 2006, (approximately 10:30 A.M) several large moving trucks had arrived, and the contents of this local spot were being loaded for safe keeping. This was probably a very good idea considering how much alchohol is stored in an establishment such as the Barrel Head. The locally famous Lauterbach Giant's head was recovered from the Barrel Head! On a side note the Barrel Head is owned, and operated by the brother of Springfield's Mayor Tim Davelin.


Links To Other Jerome-Springfield Tornado Post In This Series:

Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue III
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue II
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue I
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash & Chatham
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - W. Jerome Ave
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin & Jerome
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Reed Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Jerome Municipal Building
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Vernon Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Fillmore Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Glenn Avenue
Lauterbach Tire & Auto's Headless Giant

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Springfield-Rewind's A 1957 Tornado!

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Image: Check Out Springfield-Rewind's 1957 Tornado Rewind!

As always Springfield-Rewind delivers the goods!

Check out Springfield-Rewind's excellent feature article on the deadly tornado which struck Springfield, Illinois in 1957.

While timeliness is an important part of what makes news "new", it's history that lends perspective to current events which often challenges even the best of us.

While many in the Springfield area work to recover from damage wrought by two F2 tornados which struck March 12th, 2006, we could all benefit from learning about Springfield's last encounter with a devastating tornado.

Springfield-Rewind rewinds Springfield, Illinois' 1957 Tornado for one more fascinating spin!

Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue II

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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Hardees On Wabash

All along Wabash Avenue in Jerome, Illinois business signs were destroyed by the F2 tornado which touched down shortly after 8:00 PM on March 12th, 2006.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Wendy's On Wabash

Wendy's on Wabash, and the Parkway Point Wendy's were hit by the same tornado - although miles apart. The photograph above shows the Wendy's on Wabash on the morning of March 13th, 2006. Wabash was effectively closed to traffic, and all businesses were closed along this major road located on the south side of the Springfield, Illinois metro area.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Road Ranger On Wabash

Road Ranger - Citgo suffered damage to their gasoline pumps, and plate glass windows. Their signs were destroyed, and I found pieces of Citgo blocks away.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Wabash Avenue Road Ranger

The photographs included in this post were taken around nine in the morning. Business owners, police, and repair crew were just about the only people out on Wabash at that time. Crewmen were busy installing plywood sheets to replace broken windows.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Citgo On Wabash Avenue

Road rangers pumps were ripped wide open, and many were tossed on the ground by the half mile wide F2 twister which passed through Jerome Illinois.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Wabash Avenue Citgo

Although the pumps had no power I kept a healthy distance from the gas pumps for fear that I might set off some sparks with my camera. I seriously doubt this could happen, but I was being watched very carefully by someone supervising repair crew at Road Ranger - and so I played it safe. As of today the Road Ranger hasn't reopened, and several pumps are still laying flat on the ground. I wonder how much money Road Ranger is losing each day they are not in operation, and how much their insurace will compenate them for business interuption?


Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue I
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash & Chatham
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - W. Jerome Ave
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin & Jerome
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Reed Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Jerome Municipal Building
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Vernon Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Fillmore Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Glenn Avenue
Lauterbach Tire & Auto's Headless Giant

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue I

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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - 03/13/2006 Apx. 9:00 A.M.

Business signs along Wabash Avenue in Jerome, Illinois took the brunt of the Tornado that hit the south side of the Springfield, Illinois area the evening of March 12, 2006. The photograph above shows the effect of 120 mile per hour winds upon steel, and plastic. The tornado was quite an abstract artist, and while I'm not certain what it is, I'm fairly sure that I get it - sort of.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Capitol Illini Veterinary Hospital

My cats were very upset when they first eye'd the damage to their favorite veterinary hospital. One of the owner's of Capitol Illini Veterinary Hospital assured me, as I was taking photographs of the demaged building, that no pets were in the hospital at the time the tornado struck.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Capitol Illini Vet. Hosp. - Wabash

That is blue sky where a roof should be. Actually, I have often wondered what it would be like to be able to roll back a ceiling, and let in some blue sky at many places I've worked at, lived in, or shopped at. Of course I was thinking more in terms of a glass ceiling.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Capitol Illini Veterinary - Wabash

I visited Capitol Illini Veterinary Hospital later in the day. When I returned the television (look carefully) had been fished out (get it?) of the rubble. There was also a WICS crew arriving to interview one of the owners. I have photographs of the interview which I'll share in a later post. The owner informed me not to worry, as they would reopen soon. My cats were glad to hear this great news. I'm already overdue on two of my cat's booster shots.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Cohen's Furniture on Wabash

Cohen's Furniture lost many of their large plate glass windows to the tornado. A part of me wanted to walk through the broken windows, and sit down within the displays. While doing so may have made possible the opportunity for a surrealistic self portrait I might have been arrested for carrying out such a goofy idea in the name of modern art.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Cohen's on Wabash

As the hours, and days progressed large sheets of plywood would be brought in to cover many a destroyed window along the tornado's path. Unlike hurricanes, tornados don't provide much in terms of warning time. Businesses in the path of hurricanes often have days to cover up, or reinforce their windows, while those in the path of a tornado don't have much time for anything other than finding the deepest hole to hide in.


Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue I
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash & Chatham
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - W. Jerome Ave
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin & Jerome
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Reed Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Jerome Municipal Building
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Vernon Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Fillmore Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Glenn Avenue
Lauterbach Tire & Auto's Headless Giant

Monday, March 27, 2006

Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash & Chatham

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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Mac Attacked - March 13, 2006

McDonald's on Chatham Road lost its trademark "M", and power due to the tornado which struck the south side of Springfield, Illinois on the evening of March 12th, 2006. Luckily the tornado hit on a Sunday evening. This MacDonald's location is always busy, and many drivers might have ignored the warning sirens. Sunday evening is perhaps the "best" time to have a tornado come through the Springfield area. Fewer people were on the road, yet most people were still awake to take cover.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - MacDonald's Golden Arches

The image above was captured from the Shop n' Save parking lot looking west across Chatham Road. Note the presence of multiple rows of grounding wires running parallel to the ground north-south along Chatham Road. Chatham Road was littered with downed power poles, and powerlines. The Wabash & Chatham intersection, which is one of Springfield's busiest was shut down except for police, and utility vehicles.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Metal Poles Bend To Tornado.

As I took photo, after photo I began to appreciate how fragile our everyday surroundings are. Even metal poles bent over to the force of the tornado.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - What Is This?

A flipped view through two broken van windows at an overturned shopping cart rack. Got to love that smile!


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Putt Putt Sign Destroyed.

I'm glad I took the time to take several photographs of the Putt Putt Miniature Golf Sign last summer (although I never posted them) as it has been totally destroyed.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Owner Of Putt Putt

Mr. Pate is the son of the founders of Putt Putt miniature golf, and currently operates a small business from the same location. He stated that seeing the Putt Putt sign destroyed was difficult, as his parents started the business. Mr. Pate was taking video of the damage to his business, and expressed concern over the number of birds which had been killed in the tornado.


Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue I
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash & Chatham
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - W. Jerome Ave
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin & Jerome
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Reed Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Jerome Municipal Building
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Vernon Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Fillmore Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Glenn Avenue
Lauterbach Tire & Auto's Headless Giant

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - W. Jerome Ave

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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Do Not Cross Tape

The photo above was taken from the parking lot of the recently closed "Putt Putt" Miniature Golf. The view is to the south looking out across Wabash Avenue. While I assured the Sheriff's Deputies stationed there that I would not cross their line I only then in that moment understood that the "Do Not Cross" tape was posted to keep people out of the Village of Jerome.

It's an odd feeling to realize that you are living in the midst of a disaster area deemed too dangerous for people to enter. Just around the corner there wasn't any "Do Not Cross" tape posted, and so I ended up on the other side of the tape anyway.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Putt Putt Golf Down, But Not Out

The minature golf range, better known locally as "Putt Putt" wasn't damaged much. I'm still holding out for the owner to reopen this local institution. I did have a chance to meet the owner later that morning, and will post some photographs from that encounter.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Shopping Cart Hell

The photograph above was taken at a residence on west Jerome Avenue directly across the street from the Shop 'n Save Grocery store. It was one of the oddest sights I have ever witnessed. Almost all of Shop N Save's grocery carts were rolled, or thrown across Jerome Avenue into this residence. The forces involved to accomplish such a task is something to ponder. This home also lost a section of its roof, and had several windows broken out.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Shopping Cart Hell II

This photograph is of the same residence above, but is a view down the driveway. Part of me wanted to walk down that driveway to take what would have been some great shots of the destroyed garage mangled in shopping carts, but I followed a "No trespassing" rule that morning unless I needed to get around downed trees, or powerlines. I couldn't find the inhabitants of either residence, and so I respected their property rights - unlike the tornado.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Welcome to Shop 'n Save

As I walked into the Shop 'n Save parking lot I began to understand that Jerome was very lucky not to have been wiped clean off the face of the Earth. In the photograph above we see shopping carts jammed between two automobiles. I read only this morning an article in Time Magazine which referred to this odd sight. The next photograph better reveals the tremendous force released by an F2 tornado.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Shopping Cart Car Jacking

High winds from the tornado which struck the Village of Jerome, Illinois on the night of March 12th, 2006 raised the rear wheels of this automobile (pictured above) enough for shopping carts to be jammed under it. The Shop 'n Save grocery store is located at the corner of Wabash Avenue, and Chatham Road in Jerome, Illinois - a suburb of Springfield, Illinois.


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Photo: Jerome, Illinois Tornado Aftermath - Shop 'n Save Sign & Powerlines

The parking lot at Shop n' Save located at the corner of Wabash Avenue, and Chatham Road in Jerome, Illinois presented one grand photo opportunity. Many businesses, and residences located near this intersection suffered damage. Power lines were down, and power poles were scattered in the streets. Shop n' Save itself lost a portion of its roof, and had to discard much of its perishable items. Later that day (March 13th, 2006) Shop n' Save would become one of the few places in Jerome with electricty (generator), and reopen for business.


Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash Avenue I
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Wabash & Chatham
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - W. Jerome Ave
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin & Jerome
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Corbin Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Reed Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Jerome Municipal Building
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Vernon Avenue
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Fillmore Street
Jerome, Illinois' 2006 Tornado - Glenn Avenue
Lauterbach Tire & Auto's Headless Giant

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